John Colson: That ol’ alien thing just won’t go away | AspenTimes.com

John Colson: That ol’ alien thing just won’t go away

John Colson
Hit & Run

I often wonder why aliens visiting our planet seem to prefer the southwestern portion of the U.S. over any other section of the country.

Is it because the air is relatively clearer here than in most of the nation?

Is it because, if they land, the weather is more hospitable than in, say, northern Wisconsin, or Maine or Tornado Alley in the Midwestern plains?

I'm not sure, but they sure seem to show up here more than in other places.

I guess one explanation could be that there isn't much else to do but stare at the night sky in these areas, such as Colorado's San Luis Valley, situated just over Independence Pass from Aspen and a little way to the south along U.S. Highway 285.

The locals in the valley, according to a recent television news story, refer to Colorado Highway 17 (the other main north-south road through the region) as "The Cosmic Highway." Kind of similar to the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada.

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Formally known as Nevada State Route 385, the ET Highway stretches from the intersection with U.S. 93 at Crystal Springs in the east, 98 miles northwestward to another intersection with U.S. 6 at Warm Springs, and skirts the northern portion of that infamously mysterious U.S. air base called Area 51. That's the place where the government has been rumored to keep alien artifacts that fell from the sky over the past 75 years or so.

The ET Highway also passes by the tiny town (really a trailer park) of Rachel, Nevada (population unknown, though the sign states, "Humans? — Yes; Aliens — ?"), that butts up against the border of Area 51. Rachel, interestingly enough, was mentioned in "The X-Files," a supremely wacky television series about FBI agents investigating alien phenomena that ran from 1993 to 2002 and presaged an actual government program studying UFOs that started in 2007 and seemingly is still active.

Anyway, back to the San Luis Valley. They clearly stare at the sky a lot over there, and even have a special viewing station built on private property to attract tourists and believers.

And when one spends a lot of time staring at the sky, one sees weird things — I can attest to that, myself.

But more on that later.

I note with interest that there has been considerable news about unidentified flying objects in recent times, including a New York Times story revealing that the U.S. Defense Department in 2007 started spending about $22 million a year to investigate various UFO-related events and issues.

The program reportedly ended in 2012, but the Times reported the guy who had been running the office — Luis Elizondo — had been grousing about the low levels of funding, support and interest for the work he and others were doing, and he quit, though he indicated to the NYT that he has "a successor" who has picked up the alien ball and is running with it.

The Department of Defense had never even copped to having such a program until now, and they say the program is dead, but apparently it is now being funded by the budget of the Central Intelligence Agency or some other, equally shadowy, secretive group.

And reportedly the feds have released a video of two U.S. fighter jets chasing a UFO off the coast of southern California in 2004 that is fascinating.

It's fuzzy and indistinct, but seems to show an unidentifiable ovoid object that hovers over the ocean, above what appears to be boiling waters and some kind of object just below the surface. The ovoid object moves toward one of the fighter jets, then takes off at a speed the jets cannot match, and appears at a point 60 miles away within a few minutes.

Another video, released by the Russian government two years ago, seems to capture two large disc-shaped flying objects passing very close to the tail of a Russian fighter plane of some sort in the Kursk area of Russia in 2014.

And so it goes.

You can hunt around YouTube to find different videos, archived discussions among UFO freaks, you name it.

But the underlying fact of all this seems to be our increasing willingness, as humans around the globe, to believe there is intelligent life out there among the stars that at least equals and may surpass our own level of intelligence.

OK.

Recall, if you will, that I wrote at the outset that I can attest to seeing some strange things, such as: When I was about 10, sitting on a friend's lawn in Madison, Wisconsin, one night, I looked up and watched what looked like a huge zipper being drawn across the sky, revealing an intense blast of white light that was instantly closed off. It took all of about half a second, my two friends saw nothing, and to this day I believe I witnessed something extraterrestrial.

I've also seen bright objects descending into cloud banks over Grand Junction, where they seem to have disappeared in a burst of explosive light, more than once. And I have never found any reports of meteors or other explanations.

My wife recently watched as a bright point of light descended from high in the sky to near the northern ridge above Carbondale, seemed to hesitate for a moment, then shot off to the west at an inexplicable rate of speed and disappeared.

I can't explain any of this, but I am not so bullheaded as to reject them outright as nothing more than optical illusions or tricks of the mind.

Too many people have sighted things they cannot explain away for it all to be either a hoax or an illusion, is my view.

And to stand firm in the belief that we are the only sentient beings in the universe, to me, seems the height of hubris, arrogance, ignorance, call it what you will.

So, yes, as the poster proclaimed in "The X Files" television show, "I Want To Believe," and I don't think I'm crazy.

Email at jbcolson51@gmail.com.

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